Four donkeys rescued after being found living in 'dangerous conditions' on field near York

Four donkeys have been nursed back to full health after they were found living in 'dangerous conditions' on a field in Yorkshire.

The donkeys, who are called Parsley, Sage, Saffron and Sorrel, were found living among loose electric fencing tape, piping, exposed nails and plastic wrapping, which was strewn across their field near York.

They were also exposed to ragwort, which can cause serious damage to equines, and in some cases be fatal.

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North Yorkshire Police, the RSPCA, a local vet and The Donkey Sanctuary have all worked to nurse the donkeys back into good health.

'The Herbs' are feeling better after their treatment'The Herbs' are feeling better after their treatment
'The Herbs' are feeling better after their treatment

The Donkey Sanctuary found the animals in July 2021, and the charity's head of welfare Hannah Bryer said she found an area of the paddock needed repair and a loose length of fencing tape was strewn across the field, which could have caused the donkeys serious injury if they became entangled.

She recognised the donkeys all needed medical care.

Hannah said: “Parsley’s coat was matted and infested with lice, and his feet were overgrown and in need of farriery care.

“He was visually very underweight and worryingly he was also very quiet and subdued. Changes in condition and behaviour are often signs something is wrong so my priority was to get him checked over by a vet.”

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Sage had lice and was overweight, while her hooves were also overgrown and she was lame, finding turning particularly difficult. Saffron and Sorrel both had scabbed areas of skin across their neck, shoulders and limbs and their hooves were also overgrown.

Hannah added: “Although the owner had previously been given advice by the RSPCA to improve the conditions, we were unable to reach them and therefore we worked with the RSPCA, North Yorkshire Police and a local equine vet to safeguard the donkeys’ welfare.

“After veterinary examinations, the donkeys were transported to a nearby holding base, where they received all of the necessary veterinary, farrier and dental treatment.”

After the donkeys were removed, the owner contacted The Donkey Sanctuary and later agreed to relinquish the donkeys into the care of charity.

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Hannah added: “‘The Herbs’, as they are affectionately known, are friendly, curious donkeys who had sadly found themselves in need of our help.

“During their time at the holding base, they have needed lots of support to help them feel more confident when being handled and when the farrier comes to trim their feet.

“They continue to be monitored from a veterinary point of view and are currently receiving training to support their behaviour and will later be assessed to see if they are suitable for rehoming.”